View Full Version : Help! Newbie w/ 3" flathead

07-26-2012, 01:38 AM
Yes, 3 inches. I know what they eat in the wild, but I think I remember maybe there are some kind of fish pellets or something like that. Thanks in advance for the help

07-26-2012, 01:41 AM
Have you thought about cutting up some beef heart?

07-26-2012, 01:54 AM
Actually no, that sounds like a start.

07-26-2012, 01:59 AM
now that is small

07-26-2012, 02:06 AM
The little flat in our 20http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=26319&stc=1&d=1343268353 gal.thumbs2:

07-26-2012, 03:19 AM
That stand needs some reinforcing or you might come home to a mess. Unless i'm not seeing it all the support you have a 3/4 sheet of plywood supporting around 450lbs. I would suggest to have a full 2x4 ring under that plywood supporting that tank. I already see that wood warping its only a mater of time before you get a stress fracture in the glass.

Old Marine
07-26-2012, 07:15 AM
Chicken Liver cut up might work allso.

07-26-2012, 01:07 PM
Feeding wild-caught flatheads at that size can be a bit tricky. I had a really hard time with a similar sized flathead a year or so ago. They are not quite adjusted to eat pellets yet, and a bit too big to really want to slurp down frozen bloodworms. I like the idea of a frozen meaty food mentioned above (market shrimp, heart, etc). But I had pretty decent luck by feeding earthworms. Getting a small live earthworm, cutting it in half, and dropping it into the tank at lights-out seemed to work. The pieces still wiggled to trigger the flathead's predatory instincts, but was small enough to eat. Training predatory wild-caught fish to eat dried foods can be a pain.

I'm surprised no one has yelled at you or warned you about how big flatheads get, and how you'll need a several hundred gallon tank in just a few years. I won't be the one to how a freak out. But I will just say if you do run out of room one day, or can't afford to feed it, please do not release it where it came from. Just euthanize it. Once a fish is taking out of it natural environment, it should be considered dead and never return to potentially harm wild waters.
Okay, so yes they get very big. And yes, they can easily grow to 6-8'' in the first year, and 12''+ by year two in the wild. But in all honestly, they can be tricky to keep super healthy (plump) in aquaria because of their predatory nature (they are not like most other North American cats that are generalists - these guys are mostly piscivorous once they reach 10-15''). An aquaintance has had some success keeping one in a 220 gallon for about 3 years now (fish is about 18''). He feeds giant earthworms and then constantly keeps the tank swarming with minnows so that the fish can slurp down live fish at night.

07-26-2012, 01:52 PM
good advice Uncle Willie. the op was informed of putting this catfish into a 20g in another thread. he will outgrow that in no time and I recommended looking into a pond or a stock tank.

in the meantime, I would get him eating cut raw shrimp and earthworms. liver and beefheart should be fed in strict moderation as a treat. once he starts eating, be prepared for ALOT of water changes. several per week.

...also watch that he doesn't regurgitate his food. these types of large cats are notorious for eating a ton then puking, which instantly fouls the water and will kill it in such a small volume of water.

07-26-2012, 02:56 PM
Agree with uncle willie. Once the fish outgrows your tank, you could possibly look for someone with a private pond that might be willing to take it off your hands.

07-26-2012, 02:57 PM
I am going to upgrade to a 100 gal. as soon as I come across a decent setup. And when he gets to big for a tank, I have a large tank, really it's an old well circular in shape and about 18 foot a diameter and about 3 foot deep. I will slowly be getting that ready so when the time comes I can do the old switharoo! I am well aware of their size, we target these fish in the warm months fishing. I absolutely love these fish. Thanks for the help guys. Keep the ideas and constructive criticism coming.

07-26-2012, 03:16 PM
I'm with Crispy - shrimp and worms. I generally avoid feeding fish any meat from terrestrial vertebrates (so no chicken, beef, etc). Good luck. When that fishy gets a bit bigger, share some pics!

07-26-2012, 03:19 PM
Quote from wikipedia, "their flesh is widely regarded as the tastiest of the catfishes". I think I know what I would do with it if it got to big to keep....

07-26-2012, 11:54 PM
Quote from wikipedia, "their flesh is widely regarded as the tastiest of the catfishes". I think I know what I would do with it if it got to big to keep....

FinalJenemba is a very practical individual. I luv it.

07-28-2012, 03:29 PM
You got it guys. They had a diet of cut minnows last night. I would cut some fillets off about 1/4" x 1/4" and impale it with some twenty lb fishing line and then move it around in front of their face and then "BAM", down the hatch. Awesome to watch. Thanks for the help guys